Tag Archives | Olivia’s Growing

Five Sweet & Short Years Later

When Liv was born, I remember thinking to myself- “wow, that’s not at all how I wanted or expected our winter break to go.” Instead of enjoying the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I spent every moment I could visiting my sweet girl in the NICU. From the very beginning, Olivia has had such a brave and tender heart. I will never forget how strong she was in those early days.

I find myself saying almost the exact same words five years later. We spent Christmas Day in the ER with Olivia as she has been fighting off some sort of crazy, seasonal bug. It has been a long, long week, friends. Not a bit of sleep, quite a few tears, many cancelled family gatherings, lots of snuggles, and a process of figuring out exactly how to help her. The light in these tough moments: my girl’s unending bravery. Fingers are crossed that she took a turn for the better today! Her first request when she perked up a bit? To paint. She got right to work creating rainbows and hearts.

Liv’s one big wish from Santa this year was a stuffed animal unicorn. My darling girl, you help me see rainbows everyday. YOU are magic to me. Happy 5th Birthday, my beautiful Olivia Rose.

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A big thank you to our photographer, Tiffany Henning of TH Photography & Design, for these incredible photos! The session was pure magic for my girl. Every so often, Liv will remind me with wide eyes, “Mom, do remember when I met a real unicorn?” I’ll treasure these pics forever!

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Lately… September & October 2014

This Fall has been a BLUR. Lately, I’ve been:

…creating works of art with a very talented toddler. Crayons are a big hit these days.

Lately-October-2014-Artwork

…traveling to Salt Lake City for an essential oil convention.

… listening to this YouTube by Kid President. They actually aired it at convention during part of a breakout session presentation. This line is a game-changer: “You’re made from love, to be love, and spread love. Love is always louder.” (minute: 2:15)

…reading these articles on Motherhood:

  • 25 Ways to Annoy a Toddler: Oh, my! This one had me laughing! … and I could relate to so many things on the list, especially #19! How about you?
  • 5 Mistakes Moms Make: it all goes back to balance. I just love that first quote graphic from Lena Horne: “It is not the load that breaks you. It’s the way you carry it.” Motherhood is all about finding the right adjustments as you navigate different phases. Love Desiree’s reminder to stop playing the comparison game.
  • Home as a Haven: such a beautiful post and a gentle reminder to cultivate comfort within the walls of your home.

… generally feeling like THIS. Did I mention that this Fall was a blur?!

…taking more photos for The Dating Divas product team. In October, we launched our new exclusive Welcome Home Kit. It contains everything you need for a fun and memorable celebration!… and just wait until you see what we have in store for the Holiday season!

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…celebrating our 5-year anniversary.

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…savoring gorgeous sunsets at the lake.

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…listening to Olivia’s constant stream of chatter these days.

…wishing James, my Mom, my Aunt, and my Grandma very happy birthdays.

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22 Months and Growing

To my precious, independent, strong-willed, and beautiful daughter:

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I love you. Always and forever. You are teaching me so much about the world. You make me laugh and want to pull my hair out… every single day. We are both learning new depths of patience and how to navigate the world together. I love your tenacity and know it will serve you well as you grow older.

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These days, you love to listen to music. I can’t help but smile as you immediately start dancing to whatever rhythm is playing. You are also a big fan of bouncing on the trampoline at gym class and soaring through the air on your new red swing. I’ll say, “READY, SET,” and you enthusiastically fill in the “GO!” You started saying the word “Mama” a few weeks ago in a very intentional way… and I’m pretty sure my heart explodes into a million pieces every time I hear it. You regularly say “bye-bye” and blow kisses. So many other phrases are just on the brink of your grasp. Your Daddy and I have no doubt, however, that you understand absolutely everything.

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My darling girl- you have such a soft spot in your heart for animals. It is so amazing to watch you with the puppies. You love to give them hugs and are a regular helper with their care- finding their leashes to take them outside and feeding them dinner each night. Over the past several months, you’ve also become an expert on animal sounds (monkeys, cows, puppies, cats, lions, and even chickens!).

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You are quite attached to your blankets these days. We don’t dare leave home without one! You also adore jewelry and fashion accessories. Necklaces, bracelets, hats, headbands- you name it!

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It’s hard to believe that there’s only 2 months until your second birthday- what a journey we’ve had!

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XOXO, Mom

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Summer Photo Challenge 2014

This summer has been filled with beautiful moments. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been using the hashtag, #bpcphonephotographyproject, to describe many of my photos along with several more specific ones like #ppp2silhouette or #ppp2light.  These labels refer to a phone photography challenge I participated in through Big Picture Classes.  Every couple of days, they released a new prompt focusing on a particular photography technique.  Here’s my round-up of photos related to this project:

Summer-Photos

I LOVED this challenge because it really forced me to focus on specific photography principles- some technical, some design related- and experiment with different editing apps.  And, it was all done using my iPhone.

Photos by Prompt Challenges

  • Row 1: Light, Action, Lines
  • Row 2: Lines/Light, Silhouette, Landscape
  • Row 3: Vantage Point, Fill the Frame/Vantage Point, Shapes
  • Row 4: Shapes, Lines/In a Row, Shapes/In a Row
  • Row 5: Fill the Frame/Shapes, Rule of Thirds, Vantage Point/Backgrounds
  • Row 6: Shadow, Objects, Portrait

Editing apps that I use on my phone all the time include: PicTapGo, Snapseed, LensLight, BubbleFrame, and Rhonna Designs.  My “action” shot of Olivia in the first row was selected to be featured on Rhonna’s Start Screen… what an honor to be featured!

Rhonna-Feature

With this challenge complete, I can check off 1 more item on my 30 During My 30th List!

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Two Photos and a Lifetime in Between

Mother’s Day is around the corner.  My mom has always treasured this little grouping of photos that sits nestled in the edges of her dresser mirror:

Mom Gardens

I was probably 15 months old, happily exploring flowers at my grandparent’s garden.  The little girl on the carousel is my mom.  I recently asked her why the photos are taped together and she replied, “well that’s easy- I love this photo [of me] because I can see you in it!  You’re mine.”

I snapped this scene a few weeks ago of Olivia and my mom at the Botanical Gardens:

Grandma and Olivia Spring 2014

I’m struck by the similarities- a flower scene and so much love.  I have a feeling that one day, this photo will be pinned to my dresser mirror as well.

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Around Here: April 2014

I didn’t think that life could actually get fuller.  And then it did.  April has flown by and I’m trying to catch my breath and replace moments of overwhelm with confident faith that everything that needs to get done will.  This month I have been:

… finishing projects.

… planning surprises.

Glittered Champagne

… reading this article: I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical and reflecting.  A friend sent this and it struck a nerve, especially since I place so much effort and emphasis on crafting beautiful events for the people I care about in my own life.  I both agree and disagree with this eloquent writer.  Childhood is truly a magical time.  I can almost see light bulbs illuminating for Olivia on a daily basis as she learns new skills or simply delights in activities like watching the puppies or walking around the neighborhood.  However, I also firmly believe that parents can create meaningful moments of engagement… there is a place for crafts, party planning, and beautiful decorations within the sphere of fostering beautiful memories.  It all goes back to intention- are you going through the motions simply for the sake of appearances?  Or, are you building a memory?

… visiting a precious newborn!

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… celebrating Easter with our little bunny!

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Photo Credit: TH Photography & Design

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Photo Credit: TH Photography & Design

… crying after finding this article: Time & Inspiration. LOVE, love, love Kami’s encouragement to embrace “moments of wholeness and tender growth.”  All the overwhelm/stress/anxiety melts away when you read something like this– suddenly your perspective widens and you are able to appreciate the here and now.

… running my silhouette nonstop in preparation for a special bachelorette weekend.

… listening to the magic of these four voices: (and checking off at least one item on my 30 During 30 list!)

Il-Divo

… managing temper tantrums.  My, oh my, yes… we have entered a new phase where running away in a fit of anger and then dropping to the floor in disgust (complete with tears and flailing arms/legs) is a common reaction to a simple redirection.

Walking-with-Dad

… starting a new project.  Based on this inspiration, James is building me an “L” shaped desk in our living room.

Living Room Desk

… searching for delicious protein packed meals that are easy to make.  Cooking motivation is still eluding me!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Wishing you a charming and magical St. Patrick’s Day!

(Photo taken last year and this year- my oh my, what a difference 12 months makes!)

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Lately… March 2014

Quiet on the blog lately… a sneak peak at what’s going on behind the scenes:

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…watching this sweet girl GROW.

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…crafting like crazy for a special celebration.  Can’t wait to reveal more!

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…enjoying the first couple days of SPRING weather (hello, 60 degrees!)

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…turning 30 in 2 short weeks!

…finishing outstanding kitchen projects (tile, crown molding, painting).

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One Little Word: January and February

Loving the process of making my word visible this year by participating in Ali Edward’s One Little Word Class.  Here’s a peak at January:

One Litte Word January

One of the writing prompts included finding a quote reflective of your word.  I had a hard time choosing just one so I created a full page of “Light” quotes.  In between several blocks of text, I scattered various sizes of silver, aqua, and vellum stars.

OLW Light Quotes

OLW Light Quote Detail

Download a copy if this visual resonates with you: Light Quotes Printable

Action cards for February are prepped and awaiting my text for specific measurable goals.  For the monthly reflections layout, I used pieces of a transparency printed with patterned clouds in 3 of the squares.

OLW February

In the process of preparing these pages, I realized that I wanted to create something that captured the word GROW for the prior year.  I wasn’t able to keep up with any of the monthly prompts in terms of creatively documenting our time.  To honor our big year, I created these pages:

OLW Grow 2013

I enclosed my word within a text frame documenting all the ways we were constantly required to GROW.  Thicker number letters, a delicate leaf die-cut, and flower punches embellished the layout.

On the backside, I created a text block of song lyrics that were particularly meaningful to me.  A few of my favorite pictures, polka dot washi tape, and a simple journaling card completed the look.  (Note: I used the weld function on my silhouette to make the “Grow” text appear more scripted.)

OLW Grow Song

A few favorite details:

OLW Grow Details

As February draws to a close, I’m really excited to see what March and the rest of the year brings!

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Wishing you a delicious day filled with love!

Olivia-Valentines-Day

*Photo Credit: Tiffany Henning of TH Photography & Design

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